Denis Coderre's choice for Montreal North mayor draws ire
Monteal North community group disappointed Coderre didn't consult them before choosing byelection candidate
A Montreal North community group is angry that Mayor Denis Coderre selected his party's candidate for an upcoming byelection without bothering to consult it.
Coderre announced on Saturday that Christine Black will run for the spot of Montreal North borough mayor under his party's banner.
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The position came open when former mayor Gilles DeGuire stepped down in January after being charged with sexual assault against a minor.
But Coderre's decision, or at least the way he came to it, has already sparked criticism within the community.
Since Deguire resigned, the Regroupement pour le renouveau à Montréal-Nord — a community group with around 400 members — has been arguing the next mayor should be more representative of the borough's residents.
The group sent a letter to Coderre offering their input on his choice of candidate. Their offer, however, went unheeded.
"We wanted somebody who actually cared for Montreal North, somebody who actually knew Montreal North" said the group's spokesperson Don Harley Fils-Aime.
"[We wanted] somebody who actually knew the different problems we're facing in Montreal North. And then, after that, if the person came from the black community or another community it would have been good."
Fils-Aime added that his group was less concerned with Black herself, than with its exclusion from the process in selecting her.
Black, 34, has worked in Montreal North for 14 years. She is currently the head of Centre des jeunes l'Escale.
Coderre defended his choice by saying that Black represented other under-represented communities, such as youth and women.
"I didn't ask an organization if they're pleased or not with my prerogative," Coderre said. "What I know, though, is that they'll understand and be surprised."
The byelection to replace Deguire will be held April 24.